Few expect a rerun of Ahmadinejad’s surprise victory in the 2005 elections, which kicked off an eight-year presidency marked by confrontation with the West, incendiary rhetoric toward Israel and refusal to compromise on the disputed nuclear program. Many former allies have turned on Ahmadinejad, and two of his former vice presidents have been jailed for corruption.
But the unapologetic populist is believed to command strong support in the countryside, and could be seen by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a counterbalance to the reformers who have tried to reverse Ahmadinejad’s confrontational legacy since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, two years ago. Continue reading
Iranian president-elect Hassan Rohani’s victory in the recent elections demonstrates the hollowness of the argument that stiff sanctions would unite the Iranian people around the regime, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview published Friday in The Washington Post.
“The sanctions were often dismissed because it was said [that] they would get the Iranian people to rally around the regime. Continue reading
Clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has tightened his grip on Iran’s faction-ridden politics after loyalists won over 75 percent of seats in parliamentary elections at the expense of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a near-complete count showed.
The widespread defeat of Ahmadinejad supporters – including his sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad – is expected to reduce the president to a lame duck after he sowed divisions by challenging the utmost authority of Khamenei in the governing hierarchy.
Full article: Khamenei allies trounce Ahmadinejad in Iran election (Reuters)